China demands stricter rules for live streaming

Screengrab of Youku channel of Papi Jiang on 20 April 2016Image copyright
Youku / Papijiang

Image caption

Internet celebrity and vlogger Papi Jiang was told earlier this year to curb her foul language

China’s internet regulator has demanded stricter controls over the popular practice of live streaming, as part of a range of new requirements for sites.

As well as asking sites to step up control of live broadcasts, the Cyberspace Administration of China wants the content monitored full-time.

It is the latest move by authorities to clamp down on what it sees as “inappropriate” content online.

Live streaming is particularly popular, among Chinese youth.

There are an an estimated 80 platforms in use around the country, with some gaining notoriety for hosting live broadcasts of stunts that have gone viral. One of the biggest of these platforms, “Bilibili, claims to have 50 million users.

Media captionThousands of people have downloaded streaming app Yi

The People’s Daily reported that the CAC statement asked sites to “strengthen security evaluation of new products like live broadcast”. It also said the the new requirements would apply to “bullet-screens” – where online user comments pop-up on top of live videos.

It is just one of a range of new requirements placed on websites to better regulate themselves, including putting the onus on them to set up 24-hour monitoring of their online content.

In April, the Ministry of Culture announced it was investigating a number of popular live-streaming platforms for allegedly hosting pornographic or violent content that “harms social morality”.

It was also the month one of China’s biggest internet stars, comedian and vlogger, Papi Jiang promised to “correct” herself, after warnings from government officials over her foul language.

In May, Chinese authorities reportedly banned people filming themselves eating bananas in a “seductive” fashion

China’s tech giants including messaging and gaming company Tencent, mobile company Xiaomi and micro-blogging giant Sina, among others, all have video streaming sites.



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